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(A short story of 2946 words)

Jill-in-the-Box

Fantasy Literary

by Albert Woods


Jeremy wonders if he's going mad. Everybody else can see reporter Jill Gibbs on the TV. Why can't he?


When it first occurred, Jeremy Burton failed to recognise the thing as a phenomenon; in fact, he simply put it down to a cock-up at ITV – another broadcasting gaffe. The newsreader said they were going over live to the Guildhall where Jill Gibbs was about to interview the visiting Irish bishop. What Jeremy then saw was a shot of the steps outside the building with the bishop standing alone. There was no sign of this Jill Gibbs person, though that, in itself, was hardly unusual; media people were often not in the picture. But what did seem odd was that the little fat Wicklow man was answering questions; questions that, apparently, only he could hear. Bad milking, presumably.

The incident would have passed without comment had Curtis not made some passing reference to the recent bombings later the same evening. He and Jeremy were having a quiet beer in the Prospect and, as was their wont, the two were mulling over international affairs and putting the world to rights...
 

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